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The Tides of Change

Posted 5/20/2018

 So, here we are on the May long weekend and I made a quick trip back East. Although I love the mountains out West, the ocean holds and special place my heart.  This morning on my morning walk, a thought came to me. This was the beach today .......


And here is almost the exact same spot yesterday............


Such a huge difference isn't it? All too often we see patients expect this drastic of a change in their health. Unfortunately, more often then not, the change is much slower. 


Recovery from an injury takes time, especially if it is an older problem. Over time, an injury creates secondary effect which can affect the recovery. And it takes persistence and a team approach. Coming for your appointments once, twice or trice a week and not doing anything on your own may not be enough. What you do at home if often as important if not more important than what we do in the clinic. I recently saw a lady with a 40 year history of her injury. One her first appointment, I advised her that we would be looking for an improvement in her symptoms and an increase in her function, and the prognosis for a full recovery was guarded. She was so compliant with her home exercises and following the advice we gave her. Low and behold, to both of our surprise, she showed up for her second appointment feeling much improved. After about 5 or 6 weeks she was feeling such and immense improvement that we both felt she could continue on her own and self manage. What was responsibly for the drastic and unexpected improvement? Probably a little of what we did in the clinic and probably a lot of what she was doing at home. we were able to help guide her in the right direction, but she took the bull by the horns and ran with it. 


So, will you get better after one of two appointments? Probably not (although it does happen as noted above). The more expected progression is to see a little improvement after each visit and each week until we reach where we want to be. That might be 5 or 10% per week, or it might be 40 or 50% each week; it depends on the issue, the chronicity and what you are doing at home. Be patient, don't expect overnight improvement, but be pleased when you do improve at an accelerated rate. Do your exercises (and yes! we known when you haven't done them). Follow the advice of your therapist. Follow your treatment plan; the number and frequency of treatments recommended has been recommended to best help you. and last but not least, be patient - often recovering from an injury is less like the changes brought on by the ocean tides and more like a child growing. If you watch every day, you don't notice a child growing, but go away for a week and you will see a huge difference. 


Have more questions about your recovery and treatment plan? Feel free to ask your therapist!